This years season starts on March 1 and end in the first week of October. Goes to show what a slave to TV the game is when you have a winter code starting in summer. Seems that the season starts earlier each year. Still 26 rounds but it's stupid. AFL starts a full three weeks later. To put it into perspective the NFL plays 16 regular season games. A NOVEL STRATEGY Run the reggies out for the first five or six rounds; let the first string train but not play. This would work in Manly's situation, as we have the guns to win enough games from the 20 remaining rounds to make the 8. Half of the finals teams go around like a pack of busteds in the semi's due to suspension/injury/unavailability. Imagine having a team that started a month and a half after the rest going into a finals series.